Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pedal Power

With all the pay as you go fees affecting mobile phone call rates and similar tolls imposed on cycling through congested UK cities, it is refreshing to note that university students in Kenya have invented a smart eco-friendly device that powers up mobile phones via the bicycle. Such ingenuity is essential in a country such as Kenya because the predominant methods of charging up mobile phone devices involve visiting specific shops that charge a fee for the service, which is often powered by a solar panel device. Furthermore, as many villages do not have a source of electricity, anybody wanting to power up their mobile phones might have to travel long distances to reach the relevant shops.

However, with the introduction of the bicycle charging device, which comprises a small dynamo-power unit invented by two electrical engineering students, villagers will now be able to fully charge up their phones by

cycling for up to one hour in total. Indeed, the device mimics a standard feature of bicycles in Africa, which are often sold with dynamo units that power front and back lights. Nevertheless, with this smart modification of existing technology, the students may have unwittingly produced a product that could be viable on the global market.

Indeed, whilst dynamo chargers may not be entirely original, they are relatively novel when used specifically to charge up mobile phones. Cyclists in cities such as London would be able to avail of any such device that charges their phone as they travel to and from work.

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